Out of Place: The artist residency as a space of creative exploration and reflection

The 25th Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group Summer Symposium

This annual summer symposium will celebrate 25 years of Land/Water and the Visual Arts (and its predecessors) as an active research group. 

<p>Image credit: Kayla Parker and Stuart Moore, Father-land, 2018. Film Still.<br></p>

Between 2013 and 2017, seven artists associated with the University of Plymouth responded to Cyprus through residencies at Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre (NiMAC). The resulting work indicates a range of different responses to the island and to the complex layers of Cypriot culture, a place where historically the Hellenic and the Islamic were variously entangled and, along with legacies of British colonialism, remain marked now.

Taking the Nicosia practice-led research programme as a focus, the 2018 Summer Symposium hosted by Land/Water and the Visual Arts at the University of Plymouth will focus on ‘residency’ as a means of fostering creative investigations in response to place. Through this case study the symposium invites critical reflection on the pleasures and challenges of working in previously unfamiliar locations.

Find out more the contributors and programmes for the symposium below.


Dr Carole Baker – Photographer and writer, Lecturer in Photography

Dr Baker is a practice based researcher exploring posthumanist and phenomenological debates around the non-human animal through a Critical Realist photographic practice. Her current work Sensing the Familiar juxtaposes the social realities of Cyprus dog rescue with philosophical reflections on the nature of alterity, being, power and knowledge.

Christopher Cook – Artist, Associate Professor in Fine Art

Christopher is a painter who employs broadly surrealist processes and a specific monochrome medium to interrogate a range of themes, including genetic modification, sacred and profane architecture, and migration/protectionism. His work questions the relationship between painting and photographic reproduction, and between surrealist approaches and Eastern philosophies. 

Dr Hannah Drayson – Artist, Lecturer in Transtechnology

Dr Drayson is an intermedia artist and lecturer in transtechnology. Her research explores the technical and conceptual manifestations of the embodied imagination. She is co-convenor of the Transtechnology Research group at the University of Plymouth.

Stuart Moore – Film-maker and Associate Lecturer in Media Arts

Stuart is a film-maker and sound artist based in Plymouth. Stuart’s work screens internationally and he has won awards from London Short Film Festival and two South West Media Innovation Awards. He is currently a 3D3 AHRC-funded doctoral researcher at Digital Cultures Research Centre, UWE, whose PhD inquiry focuses on personal archives, film and memory.

Liz Nicol – Photographer, Associate Professor and Programme Leader, MA Photography

Liz is currently completing an AHRC interdisciplinary project ‘Remember Me. The changing face of memorialisation’. And engaged in a long term project, resulting in exhibitions, ‘Field Studies of the Venetian Lagoon’ 2016 a collaboration with Ecologist Jane da Mosto and ‘Nella Veduta’ (in the View) 2018. 

Dr Kayla Parker – Artist, film-maker and Lecturer in Media Arts

Dr Parker is an artist film-maker who creates innovative works for cinema, gallery, public and online spaces using film-based and digital technologies. Her research interests centre around subjectivity and place, embodiment and technological mediation, from feminist perspectives, with a particular interest in the interrelationship between still and moving image, and new materialism. 

Dr Simon Standing – Associate Professor in Photography and Associate Head of School

Dr Standing explores our relationship to sacred and secular architectural environments through photographic research. Current projects focus on urban development on Cyprus undertaken within the recent artist residency. Further research explores his relationship with Gothic cathedrals that have been a very particular element of his personal and photographic identity over the last 30 years.

Dr Yiannis Toumazis – Director of NiMAC, co-convenor, NiMAC/PU partnership

Dr Toumazis, writer, curator, director, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre and chair of the Cyprus Theatre Organisation, is also an assistant professor at Frederick University, Nicosia. In 2011 he acted as curator for the Cypriot Pavillion, Venice Biennale.

Liz Wells – Professor in Photographic Culture, co-convenor, NiMAC/PU partnership

Professor Wells writes and lectures on photographic histories and practices, and curates exhibitions on land and environment. She co-edits photographies journal and is series editor for Photography, Place, Environment, Bloomsbury Academic Press (forthcoming). She is an elected member of the Board of Directors, Society for Photographic Education, and in 2017 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Gothenberg.

Moderators and panellists

Dr Rachel Christofides – Associate Professor in English and Associate Head of School

Dr Christofides teaches Victorian literature and is MA Programme Manager, English: Literature, Culture, Modernity

Dr Stephen Felmingham – Head of Painting, Drawing and Print, Plymouth College of Art; regional co-ordinator for the Land2 art research network, UK

Dr Felmingham is an artist, academic and principal lecturer in painting, drawing and printmaking at Plymouth College of Art. He studied at UAL Wimbledon and gained his practice-led doctorate at the University of Leeds. His research interests are drawing as language and socially-engaged art practice and he is an active member of Land2.

Heidi Morstang – Artist and Lecturer in Photography and moving image; convenor of the research group for Land/Water and the Visual Arts

Heidi works with contemporary photography and experimental documentary films. She is interested in the social, cultural, environmental and archaeological histories embedded in landscapes. The majority of her work is created in the Nordic Arctic region, often in collaboration with scientists and various academic disciplines such as forensic archaeology, political and cultural history, the sciences, geo-sciences and pure mathematics.

Thursday 5 July 2018

13:00 Registration

13:30 Welcome – Heidi Morstang, Convenor, Land/Water and the Visual Arts

13:40 Welcome – Chris Bennewith, Head of School of Art, Design and Architecture

13:50 Liz Wells, On Being Out of Place

14:15 Liz Nicol, Shadow Drawings and other works

15:00 Christopher Cook, No man’s flowers

15:45 Tea break

16:15 Yiannis Toumazis, Cultural Challenges – Creative Synergies

17:00 In Conversation: Responding to place, Christopher Cook, Liz Nicol and Yiannis Toumazis. Moderator, Heidi Morstang.

Followed by

Preview: Collected Shadows: Archive of Modern Conflict, Peninsula Arts Gallery

Portfolio Session organiser Caroline Burke

Open portfolio session on Friday. You are invited to bring work relating to the general theme of Land/Water and the Visual Arts. Tables will be provided for prints, books, laptops or portfolios.

Friday 6 July 2018

9:45 Registration

10:00 Welcome – Heidi Morstang

10:15 Simon Standing, Transitions

11:00 Carole Baker, Sensing the Familiar: Encountering the Non-Human

11:45 In Conversation: Photographic investigation, Carole Baker and Simon Standing. Moderator, Liz Wells

12:00 Lunch (not provided)

MA/MFA exhibition ‘INTERIM’, Scott foyer and floor 2

Portfolio viewing Scott 102

13:45 Hannah Drayson, The lure of empty spaces. Group dreaming in an emotional Bermuda Triangle

14:30 Kayla Parker and Stuart Moore, Approaching the zone: filmmaking by osmosis

15:15 In Conversation: Autoethnography, oral history and memory, Hannah Drayson, Kayla Parker, Stuart Moore. Moderator, Rachel Christofides

16:00 Plenary: Residency as a space of artistic research, Stephen Felmingham, Yiannis Toumazis, Liz Wells. Moderator, Heidi Morstang

16:45 Ends